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The 2012 Presidential and Congressional election are perhaps the most important election in our nations history – - for most white males.

Of all the socio-economic classes into which one could divide  the United States’ population, white males over the last generation have done the most to self destruct. For example, for no other group, women, blacks, Latinos, homosexuals, can it be said that without exception as a class they have failed to achieve the economic, social and educational attainments of their parents. Women continue to outperform their mothers (as well as white men), although they remain horridly underpaid relative to White Males for the same work. Individual Blacks, despite the horrendous impact of youth unemployment and vociferous opposition from mostly white males continue in fits and starts to leave the lowest paying labor intensive jobs their parents were relegated to and move into the professional and managerial classes. Latinos carry on fleeing the feudal rural and demeaning service jobs they had historically been assigned. Despite the crushing burden of  the current economic crisis that has fallen most heavily on them, they still are doing marginally better than their parents.

But, most white males from the middle and lower classes especially in the mid-West and the South are not. They persist in their decline from the economic and social backbone of our nation to become all too often hate-filled failures in life spewing venom born of their frustration and ignorance upon those who have begun to supplant them.

And, if truth be known, they chose this path. Although there are several downward paths that they have chosen to follow, perhaps most significantly they chose to rely on their privileged position and refused to educate themselves. They now are becoming less equipped to survive in the modern world. Meanwhile women and immigrants and children of immigrants continue grow their dominance in enrollment in our nations colleges and universities.

This group that has chosen to be left behind are the heart and soul of the modern conservative movement.

To hear it from these white males, based upon their internet posts and the rhetoric of their spokesmen, it is mostly because of the unfair advantages given over the years to these others. This is nonsense. At best these others were helped into a position where they could compete for jobs and for educational attainment that were denied them by these same white males. It was the job of these privileged white males (like they demand of everyone but themselves) to meet the competition by, for example studying harder and getting even better grades. But instead they complained and sought the solution the uncompetitive always seek, to use government to limit the competition by denying their competitors the ability to compete (After all isn’t that what tax breaks and industrial subsidies are all about).

Now do not get me wrong, I find things like forced busing for integration abhorrent since its negative impact fell almost exclusively on the working classes. Similarly the demand for governmental actions that helped to weaken and perhaps destroy the labor movement while leaving the nation's boardrooms to voluntarily accommodate social change, appeared suspicious to me.

Nevertheless, the continued decline of this class  cannot be attributed to these programs alone. For example white women along with women of color have thrived in school (although still paid woefully less than their white male counterparts for the same work). That certainly cannot be blamed on Title IX, abortion or availability of contraception. Or could it? Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the almost unreasonable hate shown by the Republican Party towards women.

It is advantageous to the economic and political élite to attempt to harness the dissatisfaction and fear of this previously all-powerful group in order to achieve its economic and political goals. No matter what else you may consider them to be, this economic and political élite is not stupid. If they cannot win riding on the back of dissatisfaction of white males, they will find another horse to ride in future elections. Most likely they will decide on appealing more to women and Latinos. If they do so I expect the assaults on woman’s privacy and issues regarding border security will recede from their prominent position in the Party’s platform.

I believe it possible that Mitt Romney could be the last white male presidential candidate to be put forth by the Republican Party for a long time. I guess that, should Obama win reelection, the Republicans will field a woman and latino ticket for the 2016 presidential election to face the Democratic Party’s similar gender and ethnic ticket. I expect that one of the standard bearers  will also be black. (It should be noted, that the Romney campaign first toyed with a Latino and most recently floated the possibility of adding a black female to the ticket.)

Recently John Scalzi covered similar ground in his article Straight While Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. While his essay is obviously better written, we take a slightly different point of view. He examines the benefits society bestows on straight males. He writes:

“I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.”*
I, on the other hand, speculate on the possibility this may be their last hurrah; unless they pull the whole thing down on all of us in a suicidal attempt to prevent anyone else falling heir to what they have obviously mismanaged.

*Jim Hines, added some facts to support Scalzi’s analogy. Also yesterday's Daily Kos, contained a diary that echoed Scalzi and Hines' observations.

Finally on the issue of Miasandry about which a blog was posted in Daily Kos yesterday, see my quote below and my previous diaries in Daily Kos. It cannot be anti-male bigotry, when all that men are offering is at best a share of a system designed by them to benefit them. There have been societies run substantially differently than those imposed by men and, more often than not, white men at that. There is no rule that requires the philosophies and arts created by men whether white or not are or will be the same a those developed by woman not burdened by many thousands of years of what could only be adequately described as a world-wide conspiracy against them.

NOTE: I am a white male. True many years ago while growing up, as the child of immigrants from Southern Europe, I was not considered really “white,” and only joined the white race as a young adult. (Nor were my Jewish friends and of course Puerto Ricans flooding into NY at the time. The latter had not yet graduated from “non-white” to “Spanish surnamed.”) I was subject to the jokes of the then exclusive club of whiteness and maleness similar to what Latinos are subject to today; such as the ring our oily skin left around the bathtub.

__________________

TODAY'S QUOTES:

On the Role of Civil Society:

Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that it’s citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom, to those without wealth, income or power?
Trenz Pruca

On Men:

For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.
Trenz Pruca

On the Republican Party’s political playbook:

Nothing is so inconsequential that it cannot be used by the Republican Party as an opportunity to hold the nation at ransom in an effort to bring down the opposition party
Trenz Pruca

Originally posted to Trenz Pruca on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 06:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know why I didn't think of this before: (4+ / 0-)

    On the Role of Civil Society (see above)

    In the Republican view people first formed civil societies in order for the masses to pay homage to and enrich a tiny group of superior individuals who would use the masses for the benefit of the superiors until which time the society's masses were no longer cost-effective, at which time the superiors of society would discard the masses and instead exploit the masses of a completely different society, their superiority and wealth never being threatened in the transition, and in fact increased manifold.

    Yeah, that's what our ancestors had in mind.  Right.

    Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

    by ZedMont on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 06:26:43 AM PDT

  •  Very interesting. (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:06:51 AM PDT

  •  Good intent, but Most? Really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pythonS, Ms Citizen, joe from Lowell

    Using those words are more than a bit insulting to this 'White Male' who has been a consistent supporter of progressive causes for years.

    Using phrases like this is the same as those who say 'most crime is committed by african-americans' or 'illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from americans.'  

    It's a stereotype that is too broad a statement to not be challenged.

    •  Marty (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for your comment. Your point is well taken. But you must admit that frustrated white males currently form the backbone of the conservative cause. I do not think in any way is analogous to the quotes that you use for many reasons.

      •  Data is always a good idea (0+ / 0-)

        I wasn't going to bother replying but I thought I'd do a quick search for data.  This article from the Pew Research Center makes my point clear.

        http://www.people-press.org/...

        Yes, many republicans are white males.  But white males are republican at about the same proportion as they are democrats.  Independents took a big jump in the last few years fueled largely by the tea party movement, but the data there isn't clear enough to draw conclusions from.

        No response is needed - I'm not expecting any specific action from you anymore.  But I do expect you to learn how to restrain your generalizations and hyperbole in the future.

  •  Well, okay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell

    There's enough "some white males" and geographical diversity in this to make it more palatable than some of the one-size fits all generational stuff that's going on here. There's certainly some of the defense of male privilege involved in Republican thinking, and some of their women are collaborating because they authentically believe they should submit to a man because of some passage in the Bible. But maybe this IS a suicidal last gasp. The political rhetoric has been ratcheted up enough to make me think that's possible.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:13:11 AM PDT

  •  'Most' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier

    There is a -- er -- rainbow within that whiteness: as a group, younger white males don't march in lockstep with older white males on a number of issues.  The rich, the poor, those who live in big cities, those who live in small towns, conservatives, progressives -- all these groups have differences so great that lumping them together serves little purpose. 2012 is a big election for all of us.

    •  python (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for your comment. This election of vitally important to all of us. I merely pointed out something that is overlooked in all the socio-economic and gender divisions that we divide our population into and assign interests, that to this particular group it is momentous. Even those younger white males understand that the nation does not belong to them alone, but the majority, a strong majority (if polls, studies and political are to be believed) of white males do. Their domination of the political debate is at issue in this election.

  •  I'm an ol' retired white male and fully (6+ / 0-)

    acknowledge that many doors have been opened for me only because of my race.  

    My daughter is a disabled bi-racial young woman and I've had people, to my face, call her a "crippled half-breed."  So, I've had a taste of how racial hatred can cut to the core of one's being.  

    When going through Army Basic Training back in 1965 my bunk mate was a young black man from Richmond (CA) while I lived in San Francisco.  At Christmas we were all able to go home for the festivities with my friend and I traveling together.  

    We left Ft. Polk, LA and traveled to Lake Charles, LA to catch a westbound plane.  While at the airport we needed to use the restroom and quickly noted that there were signs: White Men, White Women, and Colored.  This was my first experience with blatant racial discrimination and the disgust I felt then has stayed with me all these years.  My friend and I were being trained to fight for our country in a far off region of the world and while we could die in the same foxhole we couldn't use the same bathroom.   He was my bunk mate, he was my friend, we were being trained to fight for our country, and I just couldn't use a separate bathroom, so we both walked into the Colored facilities.  

    I survived the Army and many years later I was looking at photos of the Viet Nam Memorial and found my friend's name.  I fell to my knees and sobbed like a baby, even writing this today brings tears to my eyes.  

    I've been a proud progressive Democrat my entire life; and for the life of me I don't know what point I'm trying to make with this post other than it just seemed appropriate to relate my experiences.    

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 12:18:33 PM PDT

    •  sfcouple (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfcouple, My Spin, brae70

      Thank you for your comment. I think the point you so eloquently made is that your experience and emotions are what this country is about and that disaffected group currently being manipulated by the powerful and even more privileged have for their own reasons worked them up into a frenzy of fear that the last remaining privilege that the have not yet chosen to devalue will be taken away by those who want equality for those they all too often considered their social inferiors.

       

  •  I'm confused by your statement (0+ / 0-)

    that "women continue to outperform their mothers (as well as white men)."

    I am familiar with statistics about women's educational attainment exceeding that of men, but the persistent lower pay of women does not suggest to me that women are outperforming white men.

    I'm also disturbed by your assertion that "white males from the middle and lower classes especially in the mid-West .... persist in their decline ... to become hate-filled failures in life spewing venom born of their frustration and ignorance upon those who have begun to supplant them." I think you're painting with an overly broad brush.

    •  Ms Citizen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, Ms Citizen

      Thank you for commenting. I apologize. The draft of the diary had originally pointed out that despite their educational attainments they woefully underpaid. That statement was important to my entire argument. I have no idea how it got dropped. I will edit it back in. Thank you for pointing it out.

      As for my overly broad statement, again you are correct the word "most" should have been included. I will correct that also

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